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Music / Five

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Five (aka 5ive) are a boy band popular in the late 90s and early 2000s. They were one of the most successful boy bands to come out of the UK, until One Direction smashed many of their previous records.

Though their original career was only four years long, they made several reformation attempts. The lattermost on The Big Reunion was most successful and a three man lineup endures to this day; 'J' retired from the spotlight and Abz has no interest in the band so it is just Scott, Ritchie and Sean.




  • 5ive (1998)
  • Invincible (1999)
  • Kingsize (2001)


  • Slam Dunk (Da Funk) (1997)
  • When the Lights Go Out (1998)
  • Got the Feelin' (1998)
  • Everybody Get Up (1998)
  • It's the Things You Do (US Only) (1998)
  • Until the Time Is Through (1998)
  • If Ya Gettin' Down (1999)
  • Keep On Movin' (1999)
  • How Do Ya Feel (Pepsi Campaign Only) (1999)
  • Don't Wanna Let You Go (2000)
  • Don't Fight It Baby (US Only) (2000)
  • We Will Rock You (2000)
  • Let's Dance (2001)
  • Rock the Party (2001)
  • Closer to Me (2001)


Original Band Members:

  • Jason "J" Brown (1997-2001 and 2006-2007)
  • Richard "Abz" Breen [later changed his name to Abz Love] (1997-2001, 2006-2007 and 2012-2014)
  • Scott Robinson (1997-2001, 2006-2007 and 2012-present)
  • Richard "Ritchie" Neville (1997-2001, 2006-2007 and 2012-present)
  • Sean Conlon (1997-2001 and 2012-present)

This band provides examples of the following tropes:

  • All Girls Want Bad Boys: J's appeal runs on this, but the entire group also embodies it from time to time, particularly in the music videos for Everybody Get Up, If Ya Gettin' Down and Don't Wanna Let You Go.
    • The opening line to their debut single Slam Dunk Da Funk is even "Five bad boys with the power to rock you!"
  • Badass Longcoat: Ritchie and Sean in the Don't Want To Let You Go music video, and Ritchie again in the If Ya Gettin' Down music video. They all wore them onstage during their 2000 Live Tour.
  • The Band Minus the Face: J and Abs were the rappers and most prominent members of Five, but the current lineup does not include either of them.
  • Boyband: Formed by Bob Herbert, just like the Spice Girls were, and managed/executive produced by Simon Cowell. They also fit the archetypes:
    • The Heartthrob - Scott
    • The Bad Boy - J
    • The Cute One - Ritchie
    • The Older Brother - Abz
    • The Shy One - Sean
  • Break Up Song: The uncharacteristically slow ballad Until The Time Is Through. This was one of the few singles written without the contribution of J, Abz and Sean and is sung by Scott and Ritchie.
  • British Brevity: The shortness of their career is typical of British boybands, but, true to this trope, their huge popularity in the time they were around has meant a lot of people still talk about the band today.
  • Darker and Edgier: The band was formed to be a streetwise, rapping contrast to the clean cut, ballad singing boybands of the day.
  • Despair Event Horizon: Sean's exit from the band happened so abruptly that it messed up their plans for Kingsize, especially once it was alleged that this was due to J bullying him (J has since refuted this and even revealed that he and his sister let Sean live with them and literally nursed Sean back to health after he left the band). It only served to cause more arguing in the band, and the image of unity they had built their fanbase on was clearly not there. Once this happened fans knew what was coming, and the band broke up only a few months later, with Kingsize having much poorer sales compared to their earlier work.
  • Five-Man Band:
  • Five-Token Band:
    • J - a white, muscular guy.
    • Ritchie - a white, nerdy guy.
    • Abz - a muscular guy of Turkish origin with Asperger's (though undiagnosed until long after the band's heyday).
    • Scott - a dark haired, muscular white guy who serves as a contrast to Abz.
    • Sean - a black, nerdy guy of Trinidadian and Irish origin.
  • Greatest Hits Album: Greatest Hits was rushed out upon the band's breakup. It was a good release for fans though, as it did include a previously unreleased track "Set Me Free", the somewhat rare "When I Remember When", and a couple of remixes. The album was promoted with the singles "Closer to Me" and "Rock the Party" which also were on their most recent album Kingsize.
  • Hidden Depths:
    • Sean got into the band by playing his own composition on piano, two things nobody else did. Of course, being in a boy band you don't see him do this onstage.
    • Abz is quite a good drummer. This can be seen in their tour documentary video (on the Five Live DVD). It is not mentioned whether he could already play or if he was improvising.
  • Hidden Track: One of the band's gimmicks was that, after their albums ended, they would have many tracks of silence for the sole purpose of indexing a hidden track at track 55 (to tie in with their name). They did this on all three albums, although Kingsize had two bonus tracks.
  • The Mean Brit: The band were managed by Simon Cowell, and by all accounts he was good to them. Unfortunately, Abz fell out with him, which meant his solo career didn't go the way he wanted it to.
  • New Sound Album: Invincible takes on more rock and hip hop influences than the self-titled, which was tightly produced dance-pop. Similarly, Kingsize takes on more disco and hard rock influences.
  • Obfuscating Stupidity: Abz is quite intelligent but masks it in being laidback and self-deprecating.
  • Once an Episode: The band always included a song sampling a famous guitar riff on each album.
    • "Everybody Get Up" (samples Joan Jett's "I Love Rock and Roll") on 5ive.
    • "We Will Rock You" (a Queen cover with additional raps and new guitar from Brian May) on Invincible.
    • "Lay All Your Lovin' on Me" (samples AC/DC's "Back in Black") on Kingsize. This is the only one of the three that wasn't a single, and may have been one had the band not broken up.
  • Out-of-Character Moment:
    • "You and I" is an uncharacteristically slushy ballad. It also was not written by anyone who normally worked with the band, so is assumed to be from an early session, prior to the band finding their sound.
    • "Sunshine" is a trance-pop track with Spanish guitars and fast tempo, inspired by the type of music popular in the Ibiza club scene in 1999, but distinguishing itself with the band's harmonies. It is like nothing else in Five's catalogue, very well produced, and frequently regarded as a hidden gem in their catalogue.
  • Real Life Writes the Plot: The music video for Don't Wanna Let You Go tells the story of a crazed fan kidnapping J into a Matrix-style reality and the other four searching for him. This storyline came about due to J suffering a nervous breakdown on the first day of shooting and having to be taken away to be sedated, leaving the others to come up with an explanation for his absence. A body-double for group shots and the kidnapping storyline worked, but if you watch J's few appearances in the video, he is considerably less energetic than he is in other videos, most likely due to said breakdown.
    • The music video for "Let's Dance" features a cardboard cut-out of Sean, who had left the band due to a mental breakdown. According to an interview with Ritchie some years later, the other band members hadn't been informed of Sean's departure and simply thought that he was off sick with glandular fever.
  • Spell My Name with an "S": Abs changed the spelling of his name to Abz due to people frequently thinking the name was from his abs (abdominal muscles), when it was actually from his middle name Abidin.
  • Stalker with a Crush: "Don't Wanna Let You Go" and "Everyday" have creepy and friendly perspectives on this, respectively.
  • Subverted Trope: Despite being a boy band, the band had a fair amount of autonomy:
    • At the auditions, the group arranged themselves into a group naturally, became friends, and insisted on all five members being in the group (the plan was for four).
    • The majority of their songs were written by J, Abz and Sean, or Scott and Richie, in conjunction with the musicians Richard Stannard and Julian Gallagher. The band also insisted that only J, Abz and Sean's songs got released as singles. Because of this, the band had a distinct songwriting style, which showed the rap and pop rock influences that the members genuinely listened to.
    • The band outright refused to record certain songs offered to them, and refused to wear some of the costumes they were asked to wear. In addition, they called short their US tour due to exhaustion.
    • The band didn't try to overly romanticise themselves and were honest with interviewers. The band members openly had girlfriends and were not shy about drinking and taking drugs on tour. They also have not been shy to complain about each other, their management and record labels, without fear of consequence.
  • Take That!: The band have all taken pot shots at each other.
    • According to Sean, J told him he hated him on the first time meeting him. J doesn't recall saying this, and was shocked when Sean continued to lay into him after that.
    • Abs noted in an interview that he didn't like Richie when the band formed.
    • Abs also noted that he didn't like any of Richie and Scott's compositions.
    • Richie hinted at a dislike of Abs by saying that as a three piece, he didn't have to argue as much and now had more freedom to move around onstage.
    • In the Big Reunion documentary, Scott outright said that he sometimes hated J, stating that while J could be very sweet at times, he had two sides to him, one of which was "a complete cock". He also implied that he was angry at J for not rejoining the band for the tour. J confirmed tension between him and Scott during the band's run.
  • Vocal Tag Team: J and Abz are the lead singers/rappers, while Sean, Ritchie and Scott often sing solos during the band's slower songs and ballads.
  • Word Salad Lyrics: A lot of J and Abz' raps, due to an attempt to sound street and kid-friendly at the same time, tend to be filled with nonsense phrases. Abz' first verse from "Let's Dance" is such an example:
    "Jiggy jump to the beat
    And keep bouncing
    30 seconds and counting
    Hot one, this choice critical
    Situation is difficult
    My calibre won't allow me to rhyme
    On a level where you people can hear me
    See me, guess I know you wanna be me
    In the meantime bounce to the beat see"


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